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Best Gaming Keyboards for ~US $100

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

After spending some time on the r/Keyboard subreddit, as one does, and seeing a couple of users asking for suggestions for good value-oriented gaming production (meaning non-custom) TKL keyboards for around US $100, I decided to elaborate on those suggestions over here.

These suggestions are divided by all the possible priorities for each buyer and are all between $86 and $110, which puts them between my "Value" and "Performance" categories for Production keyboards:

1) If your priority is to get a good all-around package, with good switches, modern design and workable software interface (for backlighting configuration and macros) my two main suggestions are either the Razer Huntsman Tournment Edition* for $100 (on average) or the HyperX Alloy Origins Core for $89. Both have aluminium frames, detachable USB-C cables and standard keys layout (which makes it easy to replace the keycaps in case you ever decide to do so later on) and good RGB lights implementation (for those who care about it).

1.1) Razer's has better keycaps (PBT instead of thin ABS plastic), very smooth and durable linear optical switches (proprietary and non-swappable) and a solid software interface (Synapse is not perfect, but as far as a keyboard configuration software goes, it is probably of the best out there).

Its downsides are: having just the top plate in aluminium (bottom is plastic), being a bit loud even with the linear switch option, dimer backlights (if compared to other options here) and having crazy sensitive switches (that actuate after just 1 mm), which might be good for gaming, but bad for typing. And as a bonus it is very easy to open for modding and repairing (something which should never be undervalued);

1.2) The HyperX option has inferior keycaps (which HyperX is happy to offer a much better aftermarket PBT replacement set for about $40) and inferior software (very limited and can only run from Windows App Store), but has a full aluminium body (possibly the best construction of all keyboards suggested here), super smooth switches (non-swappable) in either linear or tactile variety (a proprietary design that is some of the smoothest MX style switches on any gaming keyboard out there) and very bright RGB backlights.

2) If your priority is going wireless, the Keychron K8 for $95 is your best bet. It is the best deal for a Bluetooth keyboard (also works with its USB-C detachable cable).

It has inferior keycaps (thin ABS) which can be easily replaced, since it has a standard layout. The other downside is being entirely made of thin plastic (very light, but a bit creaky). It also has RGB backlights and uses its own proprietary hot-swappable optical switches in either linear, tactile or clicky in both optical (which can't be replaced with Cherry MX style switches) and regular MX style variants.

3) If your priority is RGB looks, take a look at the Womier K87 for $86 (or its equivalent GamaKay variant).

It is a simple translucent design (that will light up like a rave party), but it is hot-swappable (which is great, since you can replace its switches by any Cherry MX style ones), comes with awesome Gateron switches and good quality PBT keycaps that can be easily replaced (standard layout) and has detachable USB-C cable.

4) If your priority is gaming design and aesthetics, go with the ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL

for $110.

It has aluminium construction, Cherry MX branded switches (for those who insist on using "original" Cherry switches anyway), detachable USB-C cable, bright RGB with a decent configuration software and on-board memory to save light profiles and macros. The only downside here are the ABS keycaps that can't be easily replaced, since the keyboard has a non-standard layout (different sized Control Keys in the bottom row).

5) And finally, if your priority is to have a good all-around keyboard that also has hot-swappable switch sockets, the Glorious GMMK (in Full Size, TKL and 60% versions and in black or white colors) are hard to beat for $110 (it can cost more depending your choices of switches and keycaps).

The GMMK was one of the first even hot-swappable keyboards to hit the market in large scale and it still is, to this day, one of the best options for this type of keyboard out there. Besides its hot-swappable switch sockets, you can also choose between a large variety of switches and keycaps on Glorious website. It also has a standard bottom row layout (which makes it easy to replace the keycaps for aftermarket sets), an aluminium plate, retractable feet for two positions, removable USB-C cable (for the white version, since the black ones might still be coming with the older micro-USB connection) and plenty of RGB configuration options. Its downsides are the very basic (and a bit buggy) RGB configuration software and switch sockets that only accept plate mount 3 pins switches (instead of PCB mount 5 pins ones), which means you might need to clip the 2 extra plastic prongs out of your switches to use it with this keyboard.

* Disclaimer: the products linked in this article are affiliated links and will result in a small commission (paid by the retailer in question) to this website's owner.


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